Sunrise FM London

Alley Kat

My love for DJ-ing started in the early 1980’s when my younger brother had a mobile disco.
Electro was the ‘in-thing’ and it really grabbed my attention.
Electro DJ’s would hardly chat…..All they did was mix and scratch.
I would watch how my brother mixed one tune into another (no crossfaders back then) and I quickly picked-up how he was doing it.

Fast forward to the spring of 1988 and I was living in a squat, with my brother, on the Aylesbury estate.
One morning, at about 9am, my brother came home soaked from head to toe in sweat!!
I’m like, “What the….??”
After a while, he told me that he’d been to an Acid House party called ‘Car Wash’ and that I should come to the next one as it was the best thing ever.
I was a bit sceptical, but the following Saturday we went to the ‘Car Wash’ in a disused Coach House, opposite Lambeth Palace.
It was about 11:30pm when we got inside.
Now, I’d been to (and heard) all types of sound systems in clubs, concerts, sound-clashes, Blues party’s…….But, nothing came remotely close to the base and the clarity of the sound, I heard and felt, the moment we walked into the ‘sweatbox’.
For the first hour it was quite strange at how no one was moody or giving any ‘daggers’ to anyone.
It was fucking frantic!
People were cheering and clapping at the drop of a tune.
People were ’jacking’ and bumping into each other. (If I’d bumped into anyone, in a club, in the 70’s, I’d be expected to buy that person a pint!).
And yet everyone was sooo friendly!
When the ‘calli’ kicked-in and I heard, “Let The Music Use You” by The Nightwriters, everything made sense… The people, the music, the clothing, the lights, the strobe….It all made sense.
I completely understood and was absolutely hooked!
I found out that the DJ’s playing, that night, were Jumping Jack Frost and Brian Gee… Not a bad line-up for a first night!!
I marvelled at the reaction they got playing tunes like, ‘Where’s you child’ and how they could change the atmosphere by playing Mr Fingers, “Can you feel it” or how everyone would sing along to Joe Smooth’s “Promised Land”.
I also understood how the DJ’s were mixing these tunes.
It wasn’t long before the presets on my boombox were set to the pirate stations, so that I could listen to and record the tunes on a cassette tape. I would make a note of the song title’s and artist’s and it wasn’t long before I would frequent the record shops, in the West-End, and relive myself of my hard earned cash.

Fast forward to 1994 when I was working in a record shop, in Kennington, called SLACK Records.
There I met promoters and started playing on a pirate called HART FM (long before the legal Heart FM) and ’playing-out’ at various clubs.
I’ve also played on Face FM, Club Labryinth Radio and London Pirate Radio.

I stopped ‘clubbing’ in ’97 to raise a family and pay a mortgage, but I’ve continued to buy all styles of music to this day.
It’s difficult to pigeon hole what music I play as I like most genres.
If it has a groove and on vinyl, then I’ll play it!

            

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